You always hear about people going to New York City to buy pocketbooks, glasses, handbags, shoes and more from street vendors. They talk tongue and cheek about the great deals they are getting. These people know they are not getting the real thing. They go for the experience of “shopping” in New York and having some fun for a couple of days. But did you know you can do the same thing in Lawrence, Massachusetts? Well, just a couple of weeks ago forty two people were arrested in Lawrence and charged with selling counterfeit goods. All of them were arraigned and now await a pretrial hearing in June and July.
Selling Counterfeit Goods Can Be Either a Felony or a Misdemeanor
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 127 makes it a crime for anyone to sell counterfeit goods. The law distinguishes between misdemeanors and felonies depending on the number of goods involved. If there are one hundred or less items the crime is a misdemeanor and the maximum sentence is two and one half years in the house of correction. If however the amount is greater than one hundred items the charge is a felony. Over one hundred items and less than one thousand is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Similarly, a second offense up to one hundred items is a felony authorizing the same punishment. Over one thousand items allows a ten year prison sentence. There are also extremely stiff fines that accompany a conviction for this offense. The fines are mandatory but can be mitigated for certain reasons.
What Are The Immigration Consequences Associated With This Crime?
A conviction for this crime will likely have an adverse impact on your status in this country. You might be deported or denied citizenship. The large majority of people charged with this offense are not citizens. This case is no exception. I have received nearly a dozen inquiries from potential clients relative to this case and none of them are citizens. A conviction, even a continuance without a finding can have devastating consequences to these people.
Defending Counterfeit Goods Cases
One of the difficulties the district attorney will have prosecuting this case is making actual attribution of a number of goods to the individual defendants. Keeping track of who did what in a credible manner is a difficult task. Furthermore, anytime there is a major bust like this one prosecutors make an effort for a global resolution; at least to the extent that they can. No one wants to try forty two of these cases. While accountability might be desired it is not always achievable so the opportunity for defense attorneys to make deals beneficial to their clients is real in this case. Just remember to make sure that your immigration rights are being protected relative to any disposition you accept.
Attorney Stephen Neyman can be reached at 617-263-6800 or by email. Our office has experience with these cases. We know how to get the job done right and how to get you the best result possible. Call us now so that we can get started with your case.